New generation Customers
1:00 PM | February 19 2018

New-generation customers

How Volvo Cars, as part of its aim to become the most progressive premium car maker, will expand its customer base by attracting a younger and more modern generation.
Malala Yousafzai and Kim Kardashian. Mark Zuckerberg and Li Na. The millennial generation consists of many unique personalities, yet they do have a lot in common.
This group of young people, often defined as being born between 1977 and 2000, are more likely to be early adopters of new technology than other generations. They also have significantly different expectations on interactions and are ready to adopt innovative approaches to car ownership and mobility solutions.
“We’re moving from a traditional to a postmodern mindset to attract this young and urban target group,” says Carl Hensen, responsible for Consumer Strategies at Volvo Cars. “The journey to a more progressive market is quite long, and at the same time we want to include our current customers.”
Working as a consumer specialist, Hensen focuses on identifying customer target groups. A target group in the car industry traditionally consists of customers who share similar characteristics, such as age, location, income and gender. However, to attract the new emerging market, the key is to connect with customers through values.
“The values a person has matters much more,” says Hensen. “People can be of different ages or genders, but still share the same values. We want to connect that closely to our brand strategy.”
Only a few years ago, Volvo Cars was considered to be a traditional and conservative brand. Now, this has changed. The ambition is to become the most progressive premium brand in the automotive market. Since progressive, younger people are increasingly becoming more attractive customers for the industry, the work to reach them is intensifying.
“All brands excel in something. For Volvo Cars, this has been safety ever since the company was founded. Working with our future customer groups, we found that innovation is key. If you’re not being seen as innovative, you can forget being successful.
“But there’s a twist: we’re talking about human-centric innovation. We don’t innovate for the sake of innovation, but for people. For example, with the XC40 we worked with targeting customer needs more than ever before and came up with a number of smart solutions to meet them.”
Volvo Cars’ future customers are also concerned about design, according to Hensen. “If it doesn’t look good, you’re out. We should start to prove what Scandinavian design really is: thoughtful, and focusing on the user experience. This approach also includes new safety features and so-called green innovations.”
Hensen mentions the XC90 as an example: “The original XC90 sold mainly to a traditional mainstream group. For the new XC90 we worked hard with profiling and succeeded very well in selling also to more progressive customers. Hopefully we can repeat this with the XC40.
“Volvo Cars is on a journey. We’re moving forward car model by car model, from launch to launch, and from a traditional to a young and modern state of mind.


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